Giving Up the Cross
September 21, 2022
“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Galatians 6:14, NIV).
I was treating him for a chronic condition resulting from statin use. As we finished and he was headed back for his immune globulin, I asked if there was any other way I could help him. He noticed the gold cross on my lapel and said, “I really like that.”
“Can I give it to you?” I finally asked.
It actually hurt to remove my gold cross and pin it to his sweatshirt. I felt somewhat lonely after he left.
Not many years ago, Dr. Craig Fowler challenged me to wear a gold cross. I have grown accustomed to its presence.
It reminds me whose I am. It holds me accountable to represent Christ in the way I treat others. It serves a signal to others that I am a person who takes my faith seriously. It occasionally strikes a spark that lights a gospel conversation. I am comforted and challenged by its presence.
And today I had to give it away; it hurt.
But that’s the plan of the gospel, isn’t it? We grow to know and love our Lord as we live with Him and share Him in our communities of faith. We are tempted to hold on to Him as “My Precious” was held tightly by Gollum in the Lord of the Rings. We cannot help doing so as He brings us power and comfort and hope.
But He has come to us so that we might give Him away.
That giving sometimes hurts.
It may hurt like inconvenience, or hurt like embarrassment, or hurt like the blood of the martyrs, or hurt like Christ giving Himself away on that Friday afternoon.
The beautiful thing is that our giving Him away, even if it hurts, makes Him more precious and more alive within us than when we keep Him for ourselves. I know Christ better since I pinned my cross on another.
To whom will I give my cross tomorrow?
Make my words into action tomorrow. Point me to someone who needs to wear your cross.
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